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Previously operated by: Basil Brothers Theatres
Architects: Leon H. Lempert, Jr.
Previous Names: Lafayette Square Playhouse, Basil's Lafayette Theatre
Located at the corner of Washington Street and Broadway. Opened on February 27, 1922, to replace an earlier theatre of the same name nearby, the Lafayette Square Playhouse was designed by architect Leon H. Lempert for legitimate theatre and vaudeville. It was located, as the name suggests, off Buffalo’s Lafayette Square, with its entrance on Broadway. The theatre’s name was eventually shortened to simply the Lafayette Theatre. It could seat over 3,542. The Lafayette Theatre was acclaimed for its superb acoustics and had a large stage. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 15 ranks organ. In 1927, it was the first Buffalo movie house to show the “The Jazz Singer”.
In later years, it would begin to suffer in attendance partly due to the fact in was away from the other major theatres located on Main Street, such as Shea’s Buffalo Theatre and the Paramount Theatre. The Lafayette Theatre was closed on October 28, 1962 and was soon demolished. The site is now a parking lot.
Part of the Lafayette’s organ was later installed at the Temple Beth Zion on Delaware Avenue.
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